It is no surprise that Google is constantly adjusting its algorithm to better improve customer experience. As an ever-evolving platform, Google’s search engine aims to keep up to date with trends in how users search for information and buy new products.
With so much information readily available online, more and more customers mention that they use online reviews to help guide their purchases. According to research done by Moz, online reviews now account for 10% of Google’s ranking criteria.
With this in mind, developing a strategy and knowing how to leverage online reviews can be a key factor in helping your business increase its ranking on the search engine result page (SERP) and increase organic traffic. But first, let’s take a closer look at how online reviews can help you improve your SEO.
How Online Reviews Can Benefit SEO
Before jumping into how you can collect reviews for your business, let’s discuss how online reviews can help with your SEO:
1. Builds Trust With Search Engines
In the same way that Google trusts and searches for quality backlinks to determine website ranking on SERPs, it will use online reviews to understand if your product or service is the right fit for your customer’s problem.
Good reviews will signal to Google that your business is a good solution as it is getting a positive reaction from users, while bad reviews will show search engines that your solution is not solving any real problems. Having a lot of bad reviews will signal search engines to drop your organic ranking.
2. Increases Organic Conversions
There is an abundance of information online about products and services, and that is why before purchasing a new product, customers can research anything they need to in order to help them make a more informed decision on a purchase.
Reviews are one of the first things that potential customers look at before making a purchase! What better way to know if you are making the right decision than by reading what others had to say? In reading reviews, naturally, customers will want to browse your website, increasing your organic traffic. An increase in organic traffic signals to Google that customers believe in your brand helping you increase your ranking as well as boosting conversions.
3. Keyword Rich
Reviews are great free pieces of content that can help you increase your ranking on SERP at no additional cost! Reviews are usually packed with keywords that explain your product or service as they can include things like key functionalities, locations, colors, pricing, and more.
Unintentionally reviews end up being a great piece of content to help Google build your business profile while helping you rank higher for targeted keywords.
How To Get Online Reviews For Your Business
Now that we have gone over the benefits that online reviews can bring to your SEO, let’s take a quick look at a beginner strategy to help you get this process started!
1. Choose A Review Platform
There are various review platforms online that will help you collate reviews for your business. The first step is to research review platforms that are the right fit for your niche. Focusing on platforms that cater to a specific niche will help you make sure you are reaching the right audiences.
For example, SaaS companies usually list themselves on review sites like Capterra and G2 Crowd, while Restaurants are usually listed on review sites like Yelp and OpenTable.
You don’t have to stick to one review platform, you can create profiles on all the review platforms that you think are appropriate for your industry. A few questions to ask yourself before submitting a profile are:
- How many similar businesses and competitors are registered on this platform?
- How many reviews can you expect to get per month on this platform?
- How does the platform handle fake/bad reviews?
Partnering with multiple review platforms can even help you increase how many reviews you receive as they often offer to assist you by offering incentives for any user who submits a review!
2. Start By Asking
Once you have found the right review platforms for your business, start by simply asking a client how their experience has been. Put together a short and generic response to send to a customer once they have completed their purchase. Most customers are happy to leave a review if they are happy with their purchase!
Once you have put together a response, wait 1 or 2 days after they have purchased the product or service before reaching out to the client. Timing is key! Avoid automating the review process as this could lead to an influx of bad reviews. A lot of bad reviews will signal to Google your business is not trustworthy and will affect your ranking.
If you see that you aren’t getting much feedback from your customers, put a little incentive scheme together. Usually, you will find that customers are happy to leave their feedback if they receive something in return! You can focus on things like discounts, gift cards, premium features, and more.
The amount of reviews your brand receives also plays a big role in your ranking factors. Asking clients for reviews will be a continuous task in your review strategy as you always want to ensure you are consistently getting new reviews.
3. Respond To Your Reviews
As reviews start rolling in, make sure they are responded to regularly. Reviews provide great feedback about your product or service so it’s important to acknowledge common patterns to help improve user experience.
Responding to reviews and taking the actionable approach to fix common issues creates trust between brands and their audience.
Google has also acknowledged that responding to reviews plays a huge role in improving your ranking, so make sure to always stay on top of things!
The Future Is Growth…
Now that you have put in place a beginners strategy you are ready to start collecting reviews and slowly see your brand grow! Reviews are a great way to help you improve your SEO while building trust between your audience and brand.
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